January 19th 2010
Mystery novelist, Robert B. Parker, died yesterday (1/18/10) at his home in Cambridge, MA.  He was 77.  You may know him best as the author of the "Spenser" series, a tough-talking, Boston-based private eye.  For more information about his death, you can look here and here.  Or, take a look back at an interview he did for the Globe in October of 2007. Here at the library, we have a lot of Parker's books.  If you're interested in reading the Spenser novels (which I highly recommend!), here is a... Read Post
January 15th 2010
You will need a sturdy coffee table, a DVD player, a cast iron dutch oven, some yarn, your favorite device for listening to music, access to the Internet and, possibly, a set of earplugs if you are inclined to pursue any of the things I've been smitten by since ringing in 2010. It all starts with the coffee table, which is where you will want to put the following items so that you have them at the ready: The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited by Art Spiegelman and Françoise... Read Post
September 3rd 2009

A list of books about the Ice Age.

Adventures in the Ice Age by Linda Bailey     J 569.9 BA The Ascent of Mind: Ice Age Climates and the Evolution of Intelligence by William H. Calvin     573.2 CA Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Rediscovery of the Past by James M. Deem     J 599.9 DE Cave Detectives: Unraveling the Mystery of an Ice Age Cave by David L. Harrison     J 560 HA Children of the Ice: Climate and Human Origins by John & Mary Gribbin     573.2 GR... Read Post
August 26th 2009
Robert Barnard

Robert Barnard is one of my all-time favorite mystery writers.  In case you're not familiar with his books, here's a brief description, adapted from an essay by Marie J. K. Brenner in Critical Survey of Mystery and Detective Fiction, Revised Edition © 2008 by Salem Press, Inc. Robert Barnard (eight-time Edgar nominee, winner of the Anthony, Agatha, Macavity, and Nero Wolfe awards, and recipient of the Crime Writers Association’s Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement) is often said... Read Post

August 7th 2009
N. C. Wyeth painting of Robin Hood

Do we ever get tired of Robin Hood and his band of merry outlaws in Sherwood Forest?  I don't.  Here's a short list of some of the Library's Robin-ish books - perfect for reading in the greenwood (or anywhere)!

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire written and illustrated by Howard Pyle A classic, and probably my favorite of all. Pyle's medieval-style illustrations are wonderful (Vincent Van Gogh confessed that Pyle's work "struck me dumb with admiration... Read Post
July 31st 2009
cover of book, "The Mildenhall Treasue" by Roald Dahl

One of the great pleasures of working in a library is this: spending so much time among so many books, sooner or later one is bound to run across something that is wonderful and unexpected - treasure! My latest find, discovered on a book cart in a hallway of the Central Library, is actually about treasure - this edition of Roald Dahl's nonfiction story, The Mildenhall Treasure.  I was familiar with the story (it's in Dahl's collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, and Six More) but... Read Post

May 28th 2009
man's hand holding red pencil, circling help wanted ad in newspaper

Our thoughts and good wishes are with all of you who have lost jobs as a result of the recession.  We're here to assist you to the extent possible, with resumé writing tips, job search help, and books such as these: Are You a Corporate Refugee?: a Survival Guide for Downsized, Disillusioned, and Displaced Workers by Ruth Luban 650.14 LU Diary of a Job Search: One Man's Journey from Unemployment to a New Career by Tim Johnston with Laura Lorber and Perri Capell 650.14 JO The Disposable... Read Post

May 21st 2009
deliberately blurred black and white photo of a person sleeping
a secret wish expressed by the subconscious mind? a manifestation of a psychological archetype? a thought that occurs during sleep, which may or may not be relevant to a situation in waking life? a mere biological function?

Whichever theory you subscribe to (except for that last one, which sounds like no fun so let’s just pretend it isn’t there) the Library offers books that just may help you to understand the meaning of your dreams.

The History of Last Night's Dream: Discovering... Read Post

April 2nd 2009
2 book covers: "Watership Down" and "Love in the Time of Cholera"

Kevin - my friend, co-worker, and fellow Somerville Public Library blog contributor - recently ran across a list of what are supposed to be Britain's 100 best-loved novels.  The British people voted, the BBC tabulated the votes, and the results are here.  (Tolkein's Lord of the Rings won, for those of you who are curious but not curious enough to follow the link.)  Lists of this kind often precipitate a "which have you read/not read" conversation, and there are usually some surprises - "You... Read Post

November 7th 2008
Thanksgiving food

It's not too soon to start panicking, I mean thinking about Thanksgiving. If you're planning to do some holiday cooking and need inspiration, you might want to try one of these: Jacques Pepin's Thanksgiving Celebration  DVD 641.568 JACQUES A Thanksgiving Holiday Cookbook by Emily Raabe J641.568 RA Thanksgiving 101: Celebrate America's Favorite Holiday with America's Thanksgiving Expert by Rick Rodgers 641.568 RO Thanksgiving: Festive Recipes for the Holiday Table by Kristine Kidd 641.568 KI... Read Post

October 15th 2008
maple tree with orange leaves

the National Month for so many things, from the serious (Breast Cancer Awareness, Gay & Lesbian History) to the silly (Popcorn Poppin', Squirrel Awareness.)  Let's choose a few topics and see what the Library has to offer: 1. National Children's Magazine Month. The Library has lots: Dig, Cobblestone, Ranger Rick, Sports Illustrated for Kids, American Girl, Cricket, Highlights for Children, National Geographic Kids, and many more! 2. National Emotional Intelligence Month. Again, we've got... Read Post

July 30th 2008
Cover of book "Introducing Somerville: a Brief History"

Enter Somerville, a city packed with stories larger than itself, to salute a heritage that justifies the fierce pride of its citizens. Share a perch on one of Somerville's celebrated hills with Dee Morris and Dora St. Martin and watch the raising of America's first flag and the stringing of its first telephone line. Strolling from neighborhood to neighborhood, this brief history knocks on the doors of everyone from the father of Fenway Park to Missy LeHand, Franklin D. Roosevelt's private... Read Post

July 14th 2008
Wild Reads logo

Wild Reads is the Massachusetts Summer Reading theme this year and the children's room has some great book ideas to help get you started.  If drawing is your thing, we have books to teach you how to draw wild animals, dinosaurs, and underwater creatures.  If you enjoy true stories of real animals, you might like reading about Knut, a polar bear cub raised at the Berlin Zoo, or Owen and Mzee, a hippo and a tortoise who strike an unusual friendship.  Below is a suggested book... Read Post

June 5th 2008
Cover of book "Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter"

It's been nearly a year since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in J. K. Rowling's 7-volume saga of "the boy who lived," and while Rowling has assured fans that there's no use expecting any more about Harry from her word processor, it doesn't look as though she's going to have the last word. I'm not talking about Potter fan fiction, crazy amounts of which can be found on the Internet. I mean books - books that don't... Read Post

May 23rd 2008
Three images: Hamlet; Snow White & Rose Red; ankylosaurus

When I got my first job in a library I was surprised to discover how much nonfiction people read. At that time I read fiction almost exclusively and didn’t see the attraction of nonfiction. Sure, one might occasionally need resume writing tips, baseball stats, or advice on where to stay in Vancouver, but surely these types of books couldn’t account for the huge amount of nonfiction that crossed the circulation desk every day. So what on earth were these... Read Post